Note: this review refers only to the .pdf version of the product.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition reintroduced me to the world of tabletop gaming after a 20-year hiatus. For the past year, I’ve been DM/GM-ing a game in a homebrew campaign setting. Mechanics such as thac0 may be long gone, but an old problem persisted – my players missed all the plot hooks to go left, and began to travel right. I didn’t have anything planned for the direction the party was exploring. I improvised a dungeon beneath a well, but soon became aware of how underprepared I was. What is the dungeon’s purpose? What rooms are there, and why do they exist? What are all the interactive parts, creatures, clues, and foreshadowing? In the end, my dungeon lacked flavor. The look on my players’ faces revealed their boredom. I later researched tools to help me to be more prepared in the future, and discovered this product by Raging Swan Press.
GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing is an immense tome of concepts that can be added to any DM/GM’s dungeon. It encompasses everything you could ever want to create a dungeon. Doors, secret passages, light sources, altars, graffiti, statues, pits, and more classics are present. I encourage you look over the list in the product description. GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing gives each of these various categories characteristics, appearance, and features. Take a throne for example. This product provides a whopping 117 various aspects that a throne might have. For example, “The blood soaked sleeve of a green shirt, ripped at the shoulder and used as an impromptu bandage, has been discarded on the back of the throne.” This isn’t just flavor – it’s a potential plot hook! Perhaps elsewhere in the dungeon the players can encounter a zombie wearing a green shirt with a missing sleeve. The dressings help boost my own creativity and help my game feel more immersive.
If my math is correct, GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing contains 208 pages of content that are all filled with dungeon aspects that make my job as a DM/GM easier. The material will no doubt enhance the experience of my players. Since this is a system neutral resource, any mechanics (e.g., difficulty classes) can be quickly adapted to D&D 5e. For example, “The sounds of sobbing emanate from the well. Perceptive characters realize this sound is actually the sound of running water issuing from far below.” As the DM/GM, I can set a difficulty class for this, such as Wisdom (Perception) DC 14.
If you are a DM/GM looking for dungeon ideas or variety, look no further. This tool will help you brainstorm interesting locations for your players to explore and interact with. I highly recommend this product. Additionally, check out http://www.ragingswan.com/-, where you can download several great materials for free.